Ransomware Is The Number One Threat

Over one-third of organisations worldwide have experienced a ransomware attack or breach that blocked access to systems or data in the previous 12 months and currently the number of ransomware attacks and average ransom demands are significantly increasing and these attacks are the primary threat to most organisations.

Ransomware continues to be the number one threat to most organisations with serious effects on financial stability and major reputational damage at stake. 

A new report from Secureworks examines some of the most damaging cyber attacks and gives a comprehensive view of the threat landscape across the security industry to date. “The past year has seen headlines dominated by stories of cyber attacks: Russian supply chain attacks, Chinese espionage groups compromising tens of thousands of Microsoft Exchange servers, and widespread and brazen ransomware attacks by Russia-based cyber criminals”, the report says.

Ransomware incidents have soared over the past two years globally as criminal gangs operating from countries such as Russia and other former Soviet states, which turn a blind eye to their activities, generate tens of millions of dollars by extorting money from companies. Russia denies protecting cyber criminals and has said in the past that hackers exist everywhere. But western experts say most hacker gangs are based in the country, and are allowed to operate on the condition that they focus their efforts on targets abroad.

The menace of Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) affiliate models makes it easy for threat actors to scale their operations and target any industry or business regardless of size. In fact, these attacks can devastate even the largest global conglomerates. Indeed, ransomware gangs are becoming more and more aggressive in their pursuit of payments. Many of these groups have begun stealing sensitive documents and data. They often threaten to leak stolen files and data if victims don’t pay the ransom demanded. 

Organisations face hard work to solidify their defenses as criminal adversaries constantly innovate to circumvent them. There has been an 8% rise in ransomware threats and the average ransom sum requested in business email attacks in the first half of 2021 stands at  $85,000.

Ransomware presently accounts for over half of the incidents reported by Secureworks. It is the number-one threat that their  customers face. “No security program is complete without regular adversary testing to bring to light any immediate gaps in your security controls while allowing you to test your incident response preparedness,” says the Report. 

Criminal hackers carrying out ransomware attacks now represent a bigger risk to UK national security than online espionage by hostile states, Britain’s cyber defence chief has warned. Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of GCHQ, urged British organisations to wake up to the threat from ransomware hackers, in a recent speech.

IDC:      Secureworks:    Guardian:      Infosecurity Magazine:        Financial Times:       Security Boulevard

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